Hapshash takes a trip back to London

Artist Nigel Waymouth’s mind expanding poster work of the 1960s is set to fill the Idea Generation Gallery in the retrospective, Hapshash Takes A Trip, in London next month

Julie Felix at the Albert Hall silkscreen, April 1968, (shown left); The Soft Machine Turns On (right)

Artist Nigel Waymouth‘s mind expanding poster work of the 1960s is set to fill the Idea Generation Gallery in the retrospective, Hapshash Takes A Trip, in London next month

Waymouth formed the creative partnership, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, with fellow designer Michael English and the studio went on to create some of the high points of British psychedelia in their work for events and concerts, in particular for the famous UFO Club in London.

5th Dimension silkscreen, 1967 (left); Save Earth Now silkscreen, 1967 (right)

The pair met in 1966 when both were involved in creating murals for shops. English was working on the shopfront of Hung On You, while Waymouth was creating the exterior art for his boutique Granny Takes A Trip, on London’s Kings Road, which he had opened with artists John Pearse and Sheila Cohen.

A year later Hapshash was formed.

The Who – I Can See for Miles, 1967

Joe Boyd, owner of the UFO Club, acknowledged the example being set in San Francisco where clubs and venues would commission artists to make posters for upcoming gigs; the screenprints were also frequently given away to audience members on the night.

The Move at the Marquee Club in London silkscreen

Many of the posters were designed to be largely illegible to those not prepared to stand and read them – thus the artists could get away with including explicit elements, subversive codes and messages.

This of course carried within it an implicit feature of the modern rock poster: if you can’t decipher it, it’s probably not for you.

Tomorrow: My White Bicycles silkscreen, 1967 (left); Crazy World of Arthur Brown silkscreen, 1967 (right)

The Idea Generation show, entitled Hapshash Takes A Trip, will incorporate several pieces from Waymouth’s own archives and, in addition to the Hapshash posters, will feature original acetates, drawings, album covers, photographs and mementos.

The exhibition opens on September 9 and runs until October 2 at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2 7JB. More at ideageneration.co.uk.

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